Born on this day in 1876, Canon Félix Kir was a French Catholic priest, a resistance fighter and a politician.
His name, “Kir,” also now lives on as the name of a wine & liqueur cocktail (and also the drink’s many variants).
Here’s the drink as shown on the International Bartenders Association‘s website:
People were already drinking the “Kir” in France before Félix Kir, but he served the drink so much that it became associated with his name:
A local drink, then locally known as ‘blanc-cassis,’ consists of white burgundy wine, traditionally Aligoté, mixed with Crème de Cassis, a sweet, blackcurrant-flavored liqueur. Kir habitually served this local drink to delegations and so the drink itself is now known internationally as Kir.
Recipes online (such as The International Bartenders Association) recommend using 1/10 crème de cassis, but French sources typically specify more. Recipes from the 19th century call for a for blanc-cassis blend of 1/3 crème de cassis, but modern tastes find such proportions cloyingly sweet, and modern sources typically call for 1/5.
•About Félix Kir•
•He was born at Alise-Sainte-Reine on the Côte-d’Or.
•He entered a small seminary at Plombières-lès-Dijon in 1891 and was ordained 1901. He then worked as a parish priest.
•During the occupation of France during World War II, he took an active part in the French Resistance, helping with the escape of 5,000 prisoners of war from a camp at Longvic. He was arrested and condemned to death, but he was released because of his status.
•In 1945 he was made a knight of the Légion d’honneur and was elected mayor of Dijon and to the French National Assembly.
•He remained mayor of Dijon up to his death in 1968.